Hair Metal Is So Emo

James Montgomery wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning article on MTV News last week, comparing today’s emo punk music scene to the hair metal craze of two decades ago. My favorite quote? Well, it’s actually a referenced excerpt from a New York Post article by Maureen Callahan.

Much like Lou Pearlman – the crooked impresario who created and controlled the ubiquitous boy bands of the mid- to late ’90s – the guys behind Crush [Management] have successfully marketed a critically dismissed, yet commercially successful, stable of cute boy bands to timid teenage girls not yet ready for real rebellion.

Along with the not-so-alarming similarities such as commercial success, critical failure, and cookie-cutter hairstyles, Montgomery rightfully points out that the Guns N’ Roses and KISSes of the emo punk genre do exist–the bands that will most likely transcend the craze and emerge as respectable acts. Though I cringe that he threw Fall Out Boy into that pile, I have no problem admitting that I occasionally indulge in some of these bands that I think do actually have something lasting in their music. Speaking of that turd factory, even its Pied Piper of emos himself, Pete Wentz, realizes that the end is near for his little niche.

While some punk rock fans have accused Wentz of selling out, the 28-year-old artist said that he’s preparing for a time when Fall Out Boy is no longer popular, explaining, “The culture of Fall Out Boy won’t be there forever, so you find what you want to do between now and then.”

At least he admits that he knows what he does will be fleeting and, at the same time, basically reveals that he has no desire to make timeless music–extraordinary songs that will stand the test of time. But for every one of him in the genre, there are 1,200 more who take themselves completely seriously and believe that they will be selling out MSG in their seventies while their grandchildren’s peers clamor to get their hands on their latest greatest hits compilation at Best Buy. Ugh.

Thank you, James Montgomery, for expressing this sentiment in this little diddy after reading Callahan’s article. But no thanks goes to you, sir, for stealing the words right out of my very mouth. If I had only known that you were hiding behind Mrs. Arena’s curtains two and a half years ago, with a pen and a pencil, feverishly jotting down every word I spoke to my friend about this “Second Coming” of hair metal, we would have had a stern talking-to, you and I. Oh, a stern talking-to, indeed.


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